A story about the long shadow of war

I’m pleased to announce that the ebook version of my second novella Blue Moon for Bombers was published today. Set in England 2007, with flashbacks to the 1940s, the story explores the psychological aftermath of World War Two interwoven with a modern romance.

The ebook is available from Smashwords, Amazon Kindle and various online stores. Amazon also carries a paperback version, which readers outside America can probably buy more cheaply through other websites, for example Fishpond and The Book Depository for those of us here in New Zealand.

cover-with-wording

Here is a short excerpt from the opening chapter:

 

 

Chapter 1: Multiple pathology

“I killed him!”

“Please be quiet, you’re disturbing the other patients,” said Phyllida. She reached out to give her father a soothing pat on the hand, but with a violent jerk he moved his hand away, and shouted louder than ever “I killed him!”

“What are you talking about? Who have you killed?”

“Leo. Leo.”

“Who’s Leo?”

“I killed him!”

Phyllida did not know what to do or say. She rang the bell above the bed and while waiting for it to be answered she turned away to look through out the window at the rain steadily falling onto the sodden flowerbed outside the ward. She was greatly relieved when a nurse, a young woman with a bright and confident manner, came in and asked her to wait outside the room while they gave her father an injection.

The drug was obviously fast-acting, for when Phyllida went back in she found that the old man had stopped shouting, though he continued to mutter and groan as he tossed his head from side to side on the pillow. He did not seem aware of Phyllida’s presence, and she thought that perhaps it would be alright to go home.

On her way out of the ward she was waylaid by the nurse, whose name badge read SALLY. “Can you pop into the office for a minute?”

It was more like a command than a request and Phyllida obeyed, though with reluctance. She felt afraid that she might be held to blame for her father being such a difficult patient and making so much noise. She was also worried about driving home in the wet weather, about being late with preparing dinner for her husband Barney, and about the guests coming for the weekend, not to mention the fear that the somewhat forward young woman might mention genetic testing.

“I’m your Dad’s named nurse today, and I’ve been reading up on his case,” said Sally.

Phyllida winced on hearing her father referred to as “Dad”, for she never used that familiar term. She called him by his first name, Desmond, when she had to call him anything at all. Sally went on “It must be hard for you, seeing him so distressed. What’s it all about, do you know?”

“No, I’ve no idea,” said Phyllida.

“From what the night staff heard him saying we wondered if he served in the war at all?”

“Yes. He was in the Air Force.”

“What, a Spitfire pilot or something like that?”

“I’m not sure exactly,” said Phyllida.

“My boyfriend’s making a model Spitfire,” Sally told her.

Although Phyllida realised that the girl was only trying to put her at ease, she considered this remark somewhat unprofessional.“Really,” she said.

“Well, whatever,” said Sally. “There’s obviously some stuff from the war which is playing on your Dad’s mind. He’s been too confused to tell us what’s troubling him but I’d say he’s got Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

“Well, I’m afraid I don’t know really anything about his war service,” said Phyllida. “He never talked about that aspect of his past.”

If you enjoyed reading this, please help my marketing campaign by sharing this post with your contacts. Here again are the links to the Amazon and Smashwords sites.

Spitfire

Today’s post presents a new book: Geoffrey Guy’s War: Memoirs of a Spitfire Pilot 1941-46 by Geoffrey Guy, edited by Jennifer Barraclough and David Guy, published by Amberley UK this month October 2011 (ISBN 978-1-4456-0022-2); please click here for details. It is the story of a young Englishman’s progress from the joys of student life and first love at Oxford, through the adventures of learning to fly in Canada and the Middle East, on to the horrors of aerial combat over Burma and a remarkable experience of survival.

Geoffrey was my uncle. He never talked with me about his time in the RAF, though I have a childhood memory of a game we played on top of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire, running in the wind pretending to be Spitfires. Our family was, and still is, fairly scattered geographically but after I grew up I was able to see Geoffrey, his wife Joan (Johnny) and son Ben several times a year, until I moved to New Zealand in 2000.

Before he died on 1 December 2006, Geoffrey had written an account of his wartime experiences, and recorded some further recollections on tape. My cousin David Guy, who wrote Geoffrey’s obituary for The Times (26 February 2007), collated this material to form the basis of a book and I subsequently retyped and edited the manuscript and submitted it for publication. In the process I learned a lot about the Second World War and its aircraft, and enjoyed a trial flight (though not in a Spitfire) at the North Shore Aero Club.

 Geoffrey Guy’s War is available from bookshops, libraries and Amazon.